Mumbai Diary: Monday musings

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Mumbai boy on a global high
Malad boy Ashish Goyal has joined the likes of Smriti Irani (Minister of Human Resource Development and the youngest member of India’s cabinet), Hugo Barra (Xiaomi vice-president), and Elizabeth Holmes (who dropped out of university to found blood analytics company Theranos, which now has a valuation of around $9 billion) on the Global Leader list of the World Economic Forum.

Ashish Goyal has been chosen by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader
Ashish Goyal has been chosen by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader

What sets Goyal apart from all these is that he is the first-ever visually challenged trader in the world, and a national award winner from India. He is a Portfolio Manager at Blue Crest Capital Management Ltd with experience as an investor in the international financial markets over the last decade.

Goyal’s area of expertise is global macro with a specific focus on Asia. He has been honoured with India’s highest civilian award for a disabled individual the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities by the President of India, and the Joseph P Wharton award, by his peers, given to one individual who best represents the Wharton way of life. Another feather in the cap for this can and able youngster from the city.

Don’t forget, he’s an Indian!
At the Mumbai Indians cricket team’s press conference yesterday, the team’s captain Rohit Sharma was asked a question that left him stumped, as it were. The Indian team has spent a good deal of time around four months playing on Australian soil, and one of the reporters at the press meet asked Sharma, “After playing abroad for such a long time, how will you adjust to Indian conditions?”

Rohit Sharma at the press conference. Pic/Atul Kamble
Rohit Sharma at the press conference. Pic/Atul Kamble

Sharma wondered how to deal with this bouncer... then came back with a counter-question: “Have you forgotten that I’m Indian?” He went on to add, “These sort of questions are asked when we tour Australia, but playing in home conditions has never been a concern.”

Labelled effectiveness
The safety information labels which one finds in many autorickshaws and taxis are indeed helpful, as one colleague found out the other night. She was commuting to Thane, and reached the station at around 11pm.

The autorickshaw queue at Thane station is well organised, with four rows for rickshaws. Those rickshaw-wallahs who don’t want to go by the meter stay out of the queue rows, and wait for passengers going to certain destinations, who are charged a fixed rate.

So our colleague got into an auto which arrived in the queue, but the driver said he would not go to her destination as he was headed elsewhere. She asked why he had entered the queue, in that case. The driver argued that he was going to leave the queue and she would have to get out and wait for another rickshaw.

Our colleague, instead of arguing further, calmly said, “Okay, I just have some work” and took out her mobile phone to photograph the “Traffic Smart ID” label in the auto. Seeing what she was doing, the rickshaw wallah said no more, but quietly started the auto and dropped her to her destination without further ado. Shows the power of information, indeed.

Shut up and bounce
All in a day’s work, or call it night’s. A weekend lunch at an upscale restaurant in Bandra West saw patrons traipsing up the stairs even as weekend shopping frenzy peaked below.

A restaurant hostess was overheard telling the management, “For tonight we need three security cameras and two bouncers.” Yeah, that’s Mumbai getting ready for a Saturday night, all right!

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